03 February. 2020
A joint team with students and researchers from Computer Science Department, University of Cyprus and RISE participated in the Cybersecurity Cyberdefense Hackathon to create a Secure Chat App for the Security Forces.
(Paris Constantinides, Andronikos Charalambous, Andreas Charalambous, Iacovos Ioannou, Dr. Christiana Ioannou, Dr. Vasos Vassiliou)
The NetRL-RISE team, comprises students and researchers from the Computer Science Department of the University of Cyprus and the RISE research Center. The team developes the NATIONAL GUARD SECURE CHAT APP – NGSC, a Cypriot secure instant messaging app for the National Guard.
The problem solved is the frequent and intense use of commercial chat applications, like WHATSAPP, VIBER, FB-IM, etc, which, while advertising that the offer security we can never be sure what kind of security they provide, at what level, where our messages are stored and how they may be processed.
The team's solution creates a smartphone app, which removes any uncertainty with respect to security by using local (instead of cloud) servers, avoiding third-party services, and encrypting communication with our algorithms of choice.
Innovative aspect of the application is the philosophy of sending messages to users within a specific geographic area and the ease of creating groups based on the hierarchy of the service using it. An opportunity for using the same app in all Security Forces, like National Guard, Police, Fire Service and Civil Service exists since it offers the ability to extend the modes of communication with reservists, seasonal associates, volunteers, etc.
The hard work of the joint team from NetRL Networks Research Laboratory and RISE, during the Cybersecurity Cyberdefense Hackathon paid off as the Secure Chat App, the team was working on over the weekend, won the second prize. (tied with team ICARUS, our colleagues from Computer Science Department, University of Cyprus)